Frequently Asked Questions
You may be wondering...
How do I get in a class when they're always full?
Our best advice is to go online several minutes before registration opens. Have your credit card in hand and your information ready. Refresh the event page a couple times and as soon as the button turns green click REGISTER. Then fill out all your information and complete the process without getting up from the computer. If you run into trouble, call us right away at (720) 379-6033.
I'm on the waitlist. When will I know if a spot opens up?
When a spot becomes available we will send you an email from Eventbrite with a link where you can register. You will have a very short window of time, maybe 24 hours, to complete your registration. So, be sure to check your email daily. If you get an email, click on the link and be sure to completely finish the registration process. Typically, no additional waitlist spots will become available after the second week of class.
If I know I'm going to miss a class, can I do a make-up?
You are only allowed to make up a class if you make arrangements with another instructor to attend their class. Any make-ups must be completed prior to the end of your current session.
I can't find my piece. Where could it be?
- If you last saw it on the wet rack downstairs, it is most likely still there but may have been moved to make room for your fellow classmates' work. Ask your instructor to help you search for it during your next class.
- If you put it on the drying rack upstairs, it is probably still there but may have been moved to balance the ware boards. Ask your instructor or a friend to help you look for it.
- If you left it on the to-be-bisqued roller racks, it is either currently in the electric bisque kilns upstairs or it has been moved to the rack/shelves of bisque-ware. Many bisqued pieces look the same, so this is where it's helpful to have your initials or unique mark on each of your pieces.
- If you glazed it and put it on the ware boards upstairs, check the "oops" cart upstairs to make sure there were no problems with the glaze. If it's not on the cart, your piece is either in the gas kiln outside or on the shelves of finished work outside. Often pieces look smaller after gas firing and glazes can change depending on the unique atmosphere of each firing. So, be patient and hunt well. If you don't find it, check again in a few days.
When will the kiln be unloaded? and/or When is the next firing?
Electric bisque kilns upstairs are unloaded & reloaded on the following days: Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday
Gas kilns outside are loaded on Tuesday, fired on Wednesday, and unloaded on Sunday
Please check the white board at the bottom of the stairs for details about the next firing.
My piece missed the last firing. Will it go in next time?
We try our best to move pieces through the system as efficiently as possible and in a timely manner. Each kiln load is a unique 3-D puzzle. We fit as many pieces into each load as we can, but sometimes there are pieces that don't fit or that are left over after the kiln is full. In order to not waste resources, we will wait to fire those remaining pieces until there is enough work to fill the kiln again. You can help by encouraging your friends to finish glazing their pieces!
We typically fire the gas kilns every week and sometimes we fire two kilns at once. At the end of the session there is often a rush of work to be fired and it can take an extra week or two to get everything through the firing process. Please be patient and check the outside shelves regularly. We promise we will not get rid of any work without sending an email announcement first.
Why are there so many students at the Pottery Lab?
Because this is an amazing place. Alright, in all seriousness, demand for pottery programs is at an all-time high. Many clay centers, both locally and nationally, are full with long waitlists. Like other community studios, we've added as many new programs as we can to meet this demand, serve more people in our community, and bring in more earned income.
Adult classes are still limited by the number of cubbies we have - and that number hasn't changed for several years. But for our own long-term financial sustainability, we're working hard to maximize the space we have and fill the week with paid programming, all while still providing generous open lab time for our adult students.
We are also working hard to realize our expansion into a second facility. This will help increase our ceramics capacity beyond the Pottery Lab and allow us to offer new art forms to everyone in our community eager to make something with their own hands.
Are Studio Arts Boulder and the Pottery Lab the same thing?
Yes! The Pottery Lab is the building. Studio Arts Boulder is the fabulous team of people who teach classes, process your work, answer questions, help with registration, and provide community art education outside the building through our outreach programs. In short, Studio Arts Boulder is the nonprofit organization that runs the Pottery Lab.
If students pay class fees, why does Studio Arts Boulder also ask for donations?
Donations are critical for the long-term financial security and sustainability of the organization. They improve resilience for times when enrollment might drop unexpectedly. They also help us provide free and reduced-rate programs to folks who cannot afford to pay fees. In addition to our scholarships, we do several outreach programs each week to bring clay experiences to people who need art the most - children in low-income housing, adults with mild traumatic brain injuries, homeless teens & youth in crisis, survivors of domestic violence, and kids at risk of dropping out. We could not serve vulnerable members of our community without generous financial support from our donors.
Why do you save pieces for sales?
The Pottery Lab has a long history of selling student and staff work to the public. Neighbors and collectors come year after year to buy pieces for their own enjoyment or to give as gifts.
We currently have three sales each year:
- in July during the Rocky Mountain Tea Festival at the Dushanbe Tea House
- in September at our Fall Pottery Sale held in conjunction with our annual Chili Bowl street party
- in December our Holiday Sale held at prAna Boulder features staff and instructor work
Student work that is abandoned after each session is sorted, saved, and sold to raise money for operations and outreach programs. You are also invited to donate pieces any time during the year.
I've got other skills besides clay. Can I help somehow?
Absolutely! We are always looking for volunteers - to organize events, join our board, serve as teaching assistants, and help us with everything it takes to be a thriving nonprofit. Your skills and expertise can definitely be put to good use!